HOUSTON, Texas (April 26, 2015) – Antron Brown and Alexis DeJoria each advanced to today’s second round to lead Toyota at the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA SpringNationals at Royal Purple Raceway, Sunday.
While the end result may have been disappointing after four Toyotas qualified into the top-five on Saturday, it wasn’t necessarily indicative of how the teams ran on Sunday. Each of the three Toyota-sponsored Top Fuel cars ran 3.765 or better in the opening round, but only Brown advanced by defeating Dave Connolly before falling Tony Schumacher in round two.
After qualifying third, Richie Crampton lost his opening round on Sunday, despite running a 3.756-second pass – quicker than four first-round winners, while Shawn Langdon lost his first run on a hole-shot after registering a 3.765.
In Funny Car, DeJoria’s Camry defeated Bob Bode in the first round and then appeared to have defeated Courtney Force in round two, but unfortunately she red lighted the start to end her day.
Chad Head ran a 4.053 in the first round only to be defeated by Robert Hight. Head’s pass was quicker than five of the eight first-round winners.
Del Worsham was the top qualifying Toyota on Saturday, but he was unable to get a clean pass in his first round match-up against John Force. Cruz and Tony Pedregon also were unable to get clean passes in losing their opening round match-ups.
The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series will be off the next two weekends before beginning a stretch of six races in eight weeks with the 35th annual Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals at the Atlanta Dragway, May 15-17.
Toyota Houston Post-Race, 2-2-2-2
2015 Toyota NHRA Winners (3):
2015 Toyota Number One Qualifiers (3):
– Richie Crampton saw his streak of races with at least one round win end at five today. Crampton had been the only Top Fuel driver to win a round in every race prior to this weekend.
– After six races, Toyota drivers continue to run near the top of the Mello Yello Series point standings. Six of the eight full-time Toyota NHRA drivers currently rank in the top-10 and would qualify for the Countdown to the Championship playoffs if the regular season ended today. Antron Brown (third), Shawn Langdon (fourth) and Richie Crampton (sixth) are all in championship contention in Top Fuel, while Del Worsham (third), Alexis DeJoria (seventh) and Cruz Pedregon (10th) are in the top 10 in Funny Car.
Richie Crampton, GEICO/Lucas Oil Toyota Top Fuel Dragster: “I gave Clay Millican a head start at the line, which only added to the performance advantage they had on us in that round. Everyone ran their best pass of the weekend just now. The conditions and traction were absolutely better than we’ve seen. We probably should have run a few hundredths (of a second) quicker, but we dropped a few cylinders down-track and that was it. We’ll head back to Indy and we’ll start prepping for Atlanta. Our team owner and teammate Morgan Lucas is racing in Atlanta, and he’s won that race before, so we have plenty of good data. We’ll try to get back to our winning ways."
Alexis DeJoria, Patron XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car: “I had a horrible light in that first round and I knew Courtney’s first round numbers and we both ran almost identical ETs and she had a really good light, so I knew I had to be on my game. That (red light) definitely wasn’t what I had planned for our second round matchup. I tried to cut a really good light and unfortunately went -0.012 red. I think if I had staged a little shallower, I would’ve had a perfect light but you really never know. You go out there and try your hardest. I was amped up and I was angry at myself for having a bad light the round before and I was going to make sure that didn’t happen again, and it sure didn’t – just not in the way I had planned. Our car is running good right now. The guys gave me a great racecar throughout qualifying and on race day. We’re going to take these next two weeks to regroup and refresh ourselves, and we’ll be ready for Atlanta!”
Shawn Langdon, Knuckle Sandwich/Bass Pro Shops Toyota Top Fuel Dragster: “We were excited to have all the guys from Bass Pro Shops and Toyota out here today, and the car ran well this weekend. We fixed a couple of issues we had at the previous races. The Knuckle Sandwich Bass Pro Shops Toyota dragster qualified well and made it down the track four of the five runs we made. It was a tough first-round loss, and it’s solely on me. I just missed the tree by about two hundredths of a second, and we lost by four thousandths. Sometimes you live by it, and sometimes you die by it. I was on the losing end of it today, and it’s unfortunate. I’ll get my stuff together and be ready at Atlanta.”
Toyota Houston Post-Race, 3-3-3-3
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